B+P vs K Endings

An endgame with a Bishop and Pawn versus a lone King is quite one-sided. The pawn queens, although it needs the King’s help. The bishop alone cannot bring the pawn to the end, because it cannot kick the King off the other color squares.

Beginners may find this ending difficult to win in practice. The procedure involves using “The Opposition” by which you can force the defending King backwards using waiting moves with your own King to create zugzwang. You can only check with the Bishop on half of the color squares, either light or dark, and must use zugzwang to remove the King from the other squares.

If the attacker’s King is far away, the bishop should defend the pawn and wait until the King arrives. Do not try to advance the pawn without the support of the King. The best plan is to support the pawn with the Bishop from behind. However, you can also have the Bishop in front, with the pawn and bishop protecting each other, until the King arrives to help.

There is one drawn exception to the win. This is called the “Wrong Rook Pawn” and is a well-known draw in endgame theory. It occurs where you have a Bishop and a rook pawn, and the Queening square of the pawn is of the color opposite to your bishop (the “wrong” color square). Hence, if you have a Bishop, having one type of rook pawn will draw, and the other rook pawn would win.

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